POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

A peculiar story...

The story begins with a group of scared, tired outsiders huddled together fearing for their lives because their leader had be killed as a common criminal.  They then experienced a supernatural move of the Spirit of God upon them and they were changed from cowards to courageous and began sharing good news in Jerusalem.  God shows up and saves well over three thousand people through the preaching of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for sin and sinners.  God then takes a jack hammer to the First Megachurch of Jerusalem by allowing his people to be persecuted and scattered out into the surrounding provinces.  "The wrong kind of people" also start to meet Jesus and this causes God's people to be unsure if he can do that or not.  Of course God corrects these guys and proves to them that he is indeed on mission to save people from every nation on the earth not simply those who are just like them.

A royal official from Ethiopia just happened to be reading a copy of the scroll of Isaiah and one of Jesus' followers shows up and tells him how the Old Testament he was reading has been fulfilled in Jesus.  Tradition holds that this man went back to Africa following Jesus' on his mission founding one of the oldest Christian communities on the earth.

Then a short guy named Saul is pretty hacked off about all of this and works to shut down the Jesus operation.  Jesus then shines a light in his eyes like a criminal on C.O.P.S. and then knocks him off his horse and tells him to switch teams.  Jesus forgives him, stands him up and then tells him that he will now be his representative to the world.  The persecutor of the church now will become an apostle of the church.  So the Christian killer Saul becomes the Jesus guy Paul. 

A new church in the big city of Antioch began to form and decides to send Paul and Barnabas (son of encouragement) out to preach the good news of Jesus among the Gentiles.  They hit up six or so cities and many people there become followers of Jesus and they go back to Antioch to party and celebrate what God had done.  There is a little drama about whether gentile believers should have to be circumcised and obey the Jewish law to be followers of Jesus, so an apostles meeting in Jerusalem is called and they decide that they can follow him without taking on the whole Jewish system.  The Gentile men who had become Christians all shouted amen (well, this is historical speculation).

Next Paul decided that Barnabas wasn't so encouraging any more as they disagree on whether to take John Mark with them out on their second road trip for Jesus.  Mark had had punked out on them in Pamphylia on an earlier trip and Paul didn't want to go through that again.  Barnabas wanted to encourage Mark so one team became two as Barnabas and Mark and Paul with new teammate Silas went out again to preach good news and strengthen the churches which were born on their first trip.

A young man named Timothy joins Paul and Silas and they have a great church planting trip in Philippi where God saves a wealthy businesswoman and starts a church in her house.  Oh yeah, also a demon possessed fortune telling slave girl is set free from darkness but then Paul and Silas get beat up and thrown in jail by the a crowd stirred up by the girl's owners. Apparently they lost a lucrative contract for her on the Sci Fi channel and were pretty angry losing a fortune after losing their fortune telling demon slave girl.  But God shakes the jail, saves the jailer and his household and along with the rich business woman and the fortune telling girl a new church in the township of Philippi was born.

Paul and his friends continue their travels and end up starting all sorts of sanctified trouble in the port cities of the empire and planting churches in such cities as Thessalonica, Ephesus and an ancient Las Vegas...uh, I mean, Corinth.  He is joined by several others along the way including a dynamic duo couple Pricilla and Aquila who seemed to travel and plant a church in their home just about everywhere their business as craftsmen took them.

Paul finally gets in so much trouble that he ends up in a jail cell in the ancient power center of Rome where he wrote much of the Bible to the churches that he had started in his travels...by the way, this is the story of the birth of the Christian church.